Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: greta1

New Beginnings :
Never-ending Npd mind f**k


 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 9:17 AM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

When do the intrusive thoughts about my NPD ex and how he did xyz, which is completely different from G5, go away?

It’s like this involuntary, continued effort by my brain to reconcile exNPD’s fucked up behavior with what I’m now experiencing with G5, which is normal, respectful behavior.

I hate it. I just want him out of my brain. It’s been almost 8 years since we separated, 6 years divorced. GTFO of my head!!!

Any tips or insight?


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5706   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8764602

twicefooled ( member #42976) posted at 10:47 PM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

I've been apart from my own fuckery of an ex-husband for 9yrs now (we were together for 16yrs with 2 children). I was single for most of the first 7yrs and found the triggers went away almost completely.

Two things have been happening simultaneously for the past 2 yrs that have me triggering more often. I met my significant other, and my son started dating his significant other. We both have very healthy partnerships, and my mind automatically goes to what ex would have done (poor choices) every time either my boyfriend or my son's girlfriend makes good choices. It triggers me and makes my body go into an adrenaline rush, even though I have nothing to fear anymore.

I don't know how long it will take for the triggers to go away, but I figure if it took me 7yrs the first time, that I'm probably in for a few more years. I don't know if they ever go away, which is the lovely gift that PTSD keeps on giving.

The more our partners make us feel the safe, the less the triggers will happen. I wish us both luck <3

May 29 2021 ***reclaimed myself and decided to delete my story with my ex because I'm now 7 years free from him and mentally healthier than I've been in years.

*********When you know better, you can do better*************

posts: 484   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014
id 8764840

 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 12:50 PM on Saturday, November 12th, 2022

It’s honestly nice to know it isn’t just me!!

I hope we both have NPD free minds some day…

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5706   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8764887

nutmegkitty ( member #33882) posted at 10:31 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Definitely not just you. It's been over 10 years for me and I still get the thoughts and triggers. It's much. much better but it still happens.

Me - happy!
2 DDs

Very happily divorced from an NPD since 2013.

posts: 4401   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2011   ·   location: MA
id 8765160

foxglove ( member #21791) posted at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022


It's not just you. I've recently realized that in my mind, I revisit a number of sad events this time of year, among them discovering the A and all the ugly aftermath. I argue with my XH a lot in my head. Thankfully, I always have the last word.

I liken it to rubbing my finger over a wound that leaves a scar. The skin is back together, it's healed, but not the same as it was before - it's uneven and a little rough in spots. I need to touch the scar to reassure myself that I really am ok.

I've decided that when I go experience these feelings, I need to lean into them. Feel the feels - because I will always be a work in progress.

Me (BS) 57
Married 21 years
Divorced 2/19/07
Two grown sons
Remarried 9/18

posts: 1561   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2008   ·   location: Southeast Michigan
id 8765255

Solarchick ( member #80222) posted at 6:46 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

So glad I'm not alone here! My problem is with one word in the English language. Just. One. Word. And it's not even dirty.

My SA NPD WHX told me how his AP told him to "breathe" and it was transformative to him. I mean, he went on and on about how wonderful she was about this. barf He told this story to demonstrate how great his AP was and how I was never there for him. Because I hadn't picked up the latest pop psychology buzz word, I was a bad wife, so he was justified in blowing up my and my children's lives. It was 100% fog talk. And it crushed me even further into the ground. But because it made him feel better, it had to be said. To this day, when I think about it, I still SMH and mutter "what a DICK" to myself.

18 years later, and the word "breathe" is still a trigger. I tried to be OK with that word when my current BF (who is wonderful and a 2x BS himself) used it. I really tried to respond to that word like a "normal" person and see the care and concern with which it was said. But I kept triggering. Finally, I had to tell him why I wasn't OK with that word, and he told me he'd stop using it. Last week, during a particularly tense and hangry moment, he told me to breathe and I lost it on him for a few seconds. Oh the look on his face when I cracked just broke my heart. He said it trying to be supportive in a moment when I was under a lot of stress and hadn't eaten all day. He was trying to help. And thanks to the dick of an XWH, his supportive comment went completely the opposite way. We both felt horrible afterwards.

I really wish I could have the part of my life that involved my WXH erased from my brain. (Wasn't that a movie?) I'd like to feel normal. Most of the time I do, but that cheating bastard did leave some permanent scars that still hurt when you poke at them.

I am slowly figuring out that my current BF is NOTHING like my WXH, and I'm amazed on a daily basis how honest, up-front, unselfish, supportive, and consistent he is. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it, and I certainly will never take it or him for granted. So in that way, he's benefitting from what a cluster-fuck shit show dumpster fire my WXH was/is. I adore my BF completely and remain in awe of what a great person he is.

You know what's the funniest part? I do use breathing exercises to calm me down and to get to sleep now. But I never use the word "breathe" when I do so.

Me: BW, 56, two awesome grown sons. Remarried in 2010. That lasted 11 years.
WXH: Not even a blip on my radar anymore. I'm glad he's messing up the OW's life now and leaving me alone.
D (with cause) in 2004.

posts: 153   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2022   ·   location: Charleston, SC
id 8765277

BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 10:30 PM on Friday, November 18th, 2022

This has come up for me a lot as well. My SO moved in with me about a year ago, we've been seeing each other for 5 years. After a couple of months, I was like... do you ever get angry? He was like, "what...? of course." but I was really getting at was "do you ever explode with frustrated rages over things being not as you want them??" It took me a while to stop bracing for it. I didn't realize how volatile my Ex was, how difficult he was to live with, until my SO moved in and just did normal human/partner stuff like, take out the trash without a fight, walk the dog without an issue, put the sheets in the washing machine before the cleaner comes etc... He's made my life so much easier in direct contrast to my EX who just added more stress and burden ON TOP of the periodic rages. And for a while I was actually MAD at myself that I had put up with that shit for so long.

I've worked through so much of my Ex's NPD but I'm still "surprised" about how much I have to process still. My IC and I are working on me not being so hard on myself but I'm also still mad at my EX. What a douchecanoe.

I'm mostly resolved, but there are still things that pop into my head. I have no advice for you other than the usual, think it, feel it. let it go stuff. I will also add a pep talk that I give to myself: you escaped. That's not nothing. And now you don't ever have to accept that shit again. Ever. Good job!!

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3377   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8765861

Fablegirl ( member #56784) posted at 6:56 PM on Sunday, November 20th, 2022

I am comforted by this thread and glad to know I am not the only one. Married for nearly 20 years and divorced the past three. I am happier than ever but, yes, triggered especially by holidays and by places.

I love what foxglove wrote about touching our scars to make sure the wounds are healed; it's proud flesh, that place where we healed but yet are never the same. This time of year is tough. I am coming up on the anniversary of D-day. THat's a misnomer because I knew what was happening and D day was just the day I decided to look and lean into the awful discovery. Anyway, we are not the same for what happened.

I don't have any tips but an observation that these triggers may eventually get farther and farther apart and this normal is just your brain's hypervigilant way of sifting through old data to process and confirm you are no longer in emotional peril.

posts: 243   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8766077

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 10:31 PM on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Yes I wish to get the NPD ex out of my head too. It's been 2 years since I left and have a very normal and special person I have been dating for a year now and can relate to everything written in this thread. I am so thankful to be with someone who treats me the way I always deserved to be treated.

I feel like I am the one who is messed up in this relationship because of the baggage I still carry from my toxic M. The xWS was diagnosed NPD and I was with him for 25 years. It's a lot to de-program and I am still in therapy.

I struggle with intrusive thoughts, anger towards the xWS and nightmares that I have a few times a week. I do hope one day it will go away.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 10:35 PM, Tuesday, November 22nd]

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(19) DS(16)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014

posts: 8412   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8766340

VezfromTaz ( member #80815) posted at 8:13 AM on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Sam Vaknin suggests something to the effect of punishing yourself or doing something unpleasant everytime you think of the narc ~ like giving ten dollars away or doing 50 pushups. Worst case scenario if you follow his advice and it doesnt work you will end up broke but with large biceps.

Solarchick my trigger word is "connect". All of a sudden a few months before D Day ex was using the word, saying he couldnt connect with me, couldnt connect with the kids, after D Day (when we only communicated briefly via text til I grey rocked him) it was all about connection with AP and then some other gay dude from work who he probably also bonked. 🤮

One day my teenage son came home from an outing with dad and proudly announced "we went to the skate park so we could connect". 🙄

I was disappointed his dad's skull didnt "connect" with the skateboard ramp.

[This message edited by VezfromTaz at 8:21 AM, Wednesday, November 23rd]

posts: 95   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8766406

Solarchick ( member #80222) posted at 2:41 PM on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Oh Vez, you made me laugh so hard I had a coughing fit.

I'm sure if he had "connected" with the ramp, he would have been fine if he remembered to "breathe" through it! laugh

Me: BW, 56, two awesome grown sons. Remarried in 2010. That lasted 11 years.
WXH: Not even a blip on my radar anymore. I'm glad he's messing up the OW's life now and leaving me alone.
D (with cause) in 2004.

posts: 153   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2022   ·   location: Charleston, SC
id 8766439

dotterofTheKing ( member #45223) posted at 8:35 AM on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022

I haven’t been here in quite awhile. I popped in because tonight I was experience triggering, sad thoughts about what ex did to me. Sometimes I still can’t believe what happened and how my little family was blown up. Just want you to know you’re not alone in dealing with intrusive thoughts of the past.

I was BW (48), He was WH (47) at D-day
Together 27 years, married for 24
D-day was August 4, 2014
We have 3 beautiful children. (Two sons 19 and 20, one daughter 14.)
Affair with HS sweetheart.
Divorced January 26, 2016

posts: 604   ·   registered: Oct. 14th, 2014
id 8770390

SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

Bump smile

posts: 10017   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8782322

 nekorb (original poster member #40306) posted at 6:40 PM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

I want to thank everyone for chiming in and reassuring me that this is normal post NPD life!!

I look forward to the day that we are all free, or mostly free, of the NPD mind-fuck.

Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 M - 22 Years
D-day: 7/2013; D filed 7/2014; Divorced 7-27-16
...the WS affair starts off in a dreamland where everything is all Golly, Wow! and Meant To Be! and Soul Mates drop from the trees to frolic in the mist. -devotedman

posts: 5706   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2013
id 8782350

luv2swim ( member #13154) posted at 9:13 AM on Monday, March 20th, 2023

I believe we proceed through the mine-field of NPD ex recovery at our own unique pace. However long it takes, it is the perfect amount of time for each and every individual. For me, the triggers seemed to go away around the time I vowed to no longer be a victim. This was about 6 years after bomb drop (24 yr marriage, 2 kids). I look back now, and recall making a promise to self to not put on what I called "the victim outfit" ever again. Not to cast myself as a "victim" of my NPD ex. Or the OW (now his wife), or my beliefs that his weird NPDness harmed me. Instead, I started to notice that my husband of 24 years, and the father of our children, had his issues. That his up and suddenly leaving me/the kids, was in him. Not something tied to my imperfections, or the kids not respecting him enough, though he insisted he left because of us. I started to think it was a good thing to NOT to be married to this person my beloved husband had become. I started to think of him as a being the aliens had come down and occupied... like a human gone all mixed up. I started to view OW as sort of an heaven sent interloper who is now taking care of my beloved ex (or not!)... all to spare me and our kids. I also came to recognize that I was the one who "scored" in my own belief that I had really great marriage. I believed life was good, until it wasn't. For decades I believed I was married to a really wonderful man, who loved me and our children. I recall thinking "I am so very blessed". I was happy. The kids seemed happy. I believed my husband was happy. As it turned out, I was deluded. My husband was unhappy, and cheating... and ultimately found his "soulmate", to complete him. For years I beat myself up at how clueless I was. How I did not see any of this coming. I mean, honestly, how can a person be so blind? So ... stupid... so in denial? I truly was that proverbial "dear-in-the-headlights" spouse who gets told "I love you, but I am not in love with you, so I am leaving" spouse. Gaaaa.. so discombobulating that!

It took years, but ultimately I came to feel sorry for my ex thinking he must have been in such misery to have left me, our kids, and the life we had built together. He missed out on knowing our children thru their teenage years and through college. He is still missing out because they do not have much contact with their dad. They do not respect him. He missed out on our dogs (whom I am pretty sure he adored, but left behind to go live with OW in another state).

When I recognized that beloved NPD ex was messed up, and I was being spared... and OW was my savior (gasp... I never thought I would write this about the home-wrecking whore of a female she is!), I started to be grateful. And laugh! At this point, something lifted off of me. The scars remain... but they are now part of my own life experience. A rich, full, exciting life!

Me: BS
Him: WS
Married 24 years -
2 fantastic kids!

divorced 2009

D day: 2006 ... he left to live with OW.
Divorced: 2009
WS + OW: Married and still together (as far as I know).

posts: 407   ·   registered: Jan. 4th, 2007   ·   location: US
id 8783125
Cookies on®® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20230322 2002-2023® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy